The Enjoyment of Employment

The Enjoyment of Employment


–is going to turn off the
cricket over here, I hope. OK, cricket is gone. Thanks very much, Amy. Well, it’s really nice. This is actually my
first time in Madison. I’m not a stranger
to the Big 10, as I’ll tell you in a second. I actually got my undergraduate
degree at Michigan in Ann Arbor, and so
although we’re rivals, we do have something in common. We all hate Ohio State. So I want to keep this
relatively informal. If you guys have
questions, even there, the ones sitting in the
back, just raise your hand and shout out loud. I will also tell you
at the end of this talk how to get the
slides, so you don’t have to be too scrupulous
about copying everything that you see down. Everything is available online. So here’s the situation. Times have really changed. When I was a graduate student,
and I got my PhD in 1980 at Harvard, I was the only
member of my department not to pursue an
academic career. And for a lot of
people, not myself, that was considered a failure
if you did not try and go into academia. For me, for various
reasons, academia was not an attractive
option at the time. And so I went to my
adviser, and he was actually quite understanding, and I
think actually progressive for the time. And I said, you know,
Dan, I love science. I like research. But I’m seeing people in
our lab who are, I think, better scientists than I am,
and more committed than I am, who are having a lot of
trouble getting jobs, and I’m thinking that maybe
academia is not for me. And he was, as I say,
really understanding. He said, you know, Doug, I
can’t talk you out of it. The job situation is terrible. This is in 1980,
remember, so 40 years ago. And I really think
you’ve got other skills. I’ll tell you what. You’re about two years away
from getting your degree. Why don’t you finish
your research, write your dissertation,
and if you promise never to practice biology,
we’ll give you a degree, and we’ll part friends. So I kept my side
of the bargain. I went into– I had
had a lot of background in information technology. I did computing. I did organizational
development. I actually became a
partner at Pricewaterhouse for about 10 years, which was
a very interesting experience. I was recruited in the late
’90s by a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who said,
you know what, Doug, I’m starting a
consulting company now. It’s going to be one of the
great consulting companies ever. Like all entrepreneurs,
he was quite hyperbolic. But he said, I tell you
what, I want you to come and be my chief
knowledge officer. And I said, chief
knowledge officer, how would that look on a resume? All right. So I couldn’t pass
up a title like that, and I went and became
the chief knowledge officer of this start-up. So I saw– I was at the largest
partnership in the world at the time, Pricewaterhouse. I was with a small partnership
that I started just out of graduate school. I was with large companies. I did consulting for IBM. I worked with just a huge
variety of organizations, and I saw IPOs and
I saw bankruptcies, sometimes in the same
company, and sometimes in a period of 18 months. And I thought to myself
after– a couple of years ago, when I was getting
ready to retire, what can I do with this absolute
train wreck of a resume? All of these crazy
experiences, but nothing really consistent through it. And it seemed to me
that what I could do was really help
people understand, and help students understand
how life outside of academia is different from
life inside academia. Basically, helping
students at all levels, from freshman all the
way through postdocs navigate the transition
from being a student all their lives to
being an employee. And I don’t focus
on getting a job. It’s not a job-hunting site. It’s not Monster.com. But what I do is I deal
with the behavioral and the cultural
changes that you need to make in order to pursue
a job outside of academia. So I sat down and I put together
a website, which I’ve modestly called dougsguides. And on this website are a
whole set of– there’s website information, there’s
videos, there’s links, there’s self
assessments, and it’s all geared towards helping
people at all levels make this transition
from being students to be to being employed in
the non-academic sector. Now, I have nothing against
the academic sector. It’s a great, great lifestyle. It’s a great opportunity. It’s very, very challenging. But my focus is
really on the majority of people who have got to make
that transition into a job outside of the academic sector. And that’s where all
of my information is. And usually, when I put up
this slide, the sponsors who have invited me
get really nervous, because they think I’m
trying to sell something. There’s nothing you can
buy on this website. Everything is free. Everything is there
just for your benefit. So not being all that smart,
I came to a late realization. Late in my career, I
realized that the jobs where I was happiest
weren’t necessarily the ones where I was
being paid the most, because I always thought
that the more money I made, the happier I would be. And as it turned
out, in fact, there seemed to be an
inverse correlation between how much money I was
making and how happy I was. And I was interested in this,
because about four months ago in The New York Times, some
people, some academics, had run a study of 6,000
lawyers at small firms, and large firms, and
public service firms, and commercial law firms. And they looked at workplace
happiness versus things like having a large salary,
working at a prestigious firm, having a lot of people
working for you. And what they found out
is that there was not a correlation with all of
those good things, big salary and stuff, with happiness. But there was a correlation of
those things with alcoholism. So I don’t know
whether alcoholics tend to become big-powered lawyers. I mean, it’s a
correlation, right? So we can’t imply any causality. But I thought it was
really interesting, and it spoke to me,
because I had realized the same kind of thing, that
there’s more to workplace happiness than just the salary. And I began to wonder, what
is it that made me happier at some places than at others? And it turns out, of
course, some people have done research on
this kind of thing. And one of the things– a couple
of components that I noticed. One was meaning. Is the job that you’re
doing meaningful? Does it have a purpose? Is there a reasonable
purpose to what you’re doing? And secondly was engagement. Engagement means, are
your particular skills being used at the particular
job that you’re doing? That is, are you
a cookie cutter? Are you just somebody who
can sit there and they could replace you easily? Or is there something about
you as an individual that makes the job that
you’re doing important, and that you are the particular
person who can do this job? Another thing is accomplishment. And that is, is the
job you’re doing just sort of a task of Sisyphus? Do you roll the rock up
the mountain every morning, and then in the evening,
it rolls back down? Or is there actually something
that you’re achieving? You’re able to look back at the
end of a month, or a quarter, or a year, and say,
oh, look, we actually were able to achieve something. And really importantly,
people have looked at the kind
of relationships that you have with
your coworkers. How good are those
relationships? Do you like the people
that you’re working with? Another component of
workplace happiness. And all of these things kind
of engender positive emotions. Do you want to get up in
the morning and go to work, or do you stay in bed, and
pull the covers over your head, and say, oh jeez, maybe I
could just call in sick today? It turns out that
all of these things are aspects of the
culture of the workplace. Now societies have cultures. I hope there are some
social science people here. Societies have cultures. And what cultures
are is they define the ways in which people
with different places in the hierarchy, and
different responsibilities in the society, interact
with each other. Businesses have cultures too. The culture in a business
defines the interactions between the employees, employees
and customers, management and customers, management
and employees, shareholders, all the different stakeholders
there are in the business. These are aspects of
the business culture. If you’re a cooperative,
kind of team-oriented person, and you are in a
cutthroat culture, you are not going to be happy. And what’s really
interesting, I love to read The New York
Times every day, because there’s always something
about business culture, something interesting. Last week it was all about what? Amazon.com. Did anybody take a look at that? Amazon.com, they did a
great– the reporters did a great study. And it turns out that Amazon is
just a horrible, horrible place to work if you are not
extremely competitive. And my favorite
line in there was, it’s the place where
over-achievers go to feel bad about themselves. So if you’re not
an overachiever– and they try and weed you out
in the recruiting process, and they say, Amazon’s
not for everyone. Well, from what I could
tell, it’s not for anyone. I can’t imagine working
in a culture like that. If you didn’t know
that ahead of time, you might be really
disappointed, and actually depressed, if
you actually got a job there. So this is something that
most people don’t realize. They don’t realize that the
culture of an organization is really important
until it’s too late. So what I want to do–
and this may be something. I know some of you are just
starting your graduate career. Some of you are in the
middle, and maybe this is your last year. Some of you may be postdocs. So you’re at different
places in your job search. But this is something that
you may not have considered. It’s unfortunately yet another
component of getting a job. And I wanted to spend
some time, because I don’t think enough people
focus on understanding cultures, and understanding
and questioning the business culture as a
component of the job search. So what I want to
talk about today is the different business
cultures that there are, and how to recognize them. We’re going to talk a little
bit about your own particular personalities, and how to
find the business culture that matches those, and then
develop a plan for entering the non-academic job market. And as I say, a
lot of this stuff will– if you’re not wedded to
the non-academic job market, you’re thinking that
maybe academia does hold some interest for
you, there’s a lot in this talk that’s
going to apply to you. Not everything, because my
focus is on non-academic jobs. But stick with it,
because I think you’ll find some stuff that’s
actually pretty interesting. So what defines the culture? Well, I think management
attitude is really important, as we’ve certainly
seen with Amazon, which is going to be one of
my favorite whipping boys for this talk. Jeff Bezos has basically said,
I think I know what is best. I want a very
competitive culture. I am the boss. This is the way that
it’s going to be. So an aggressive,
hard-driving boss is not just going to communicate
that competition is tolerated. That kind of a boss
may really communicate that that’s the kind of behavior
that’s expected and encouraged in the organization. The markets that
are served, right? A bank is going to have
a very different culture from a brewery, just because
of the kinds of markets that they deal with. The stage of life
of an organization. A high flying, .com start-up is
going to have a very different culture from an
automobile company. Regulation. Is a regulated business? A hospital or an insurance
company, where they have to, every quarter, show
their commitment to certain government
regulations, is going to have a very,
very different culture from a website
design firm, where there’s no oversight at all. Finances. A company which has just
gotten $10 million in funding, a start-up that’s got
$10 million in funding, is going to be a
very different place to work than a start-up
that has no money, or a business that’s in a
declining field, where profits are very, very hard to come by. Of all of these, I think the
management attitude is probably the most important. And what we’re
seeing– especially where I come from
in Silicon Valley– is that now companies
are actually competing on corporate culture. They’re competing to be
the coolest place to work. So if you go to
work at Facebook, or you get recruited
by Google, they will tell you, what a
great place to work. You can bring your dog to work. You can get a haircut at work. You can do all your banking. You actually get
three meals a day. You never have to go home. What they want to
do is to make sure that you can put in 20 hours
of productivity per day. I remember, in the first .com
boom in the ’90s, I was talking to a start-up company, and I
noticed one of those espresso machines that’s the size of
this wall, it’s this big, it’s copper, and everything. And I said, oh my god,
I mean, I know those are like $30,000 espresso machines. And the CEO said, it was the
best investment I ever made. I mean with all at caffeine,
you wouldn’t believe how productivity goes up. So what I want to do is I
want to talk a little bit about different kinds
of business cultures that you might find. And again, I did
some research online, and there’s a really
interesting guy who was an organizational
psychologist named Charles Handy in the 1970s. And he defined
four cultures based on where power resides
in the organization. And I looked at
that, and I said, you know what, this has
a lot of applicability to the kinds of
organizations that I’ve seen. I think this really
speaks– it’s a good taxonomy of
business cultures. But one thing he left
out, or he mentioned, but didn’t emphasize,
was an academic culture. Academic cultures weren’t
as prevalent in the ’70s as they are today. So I added that, and I’m going
to talk a little bit about it. I want to preface
this first by saying that these are not ranked in
order of best to worst or worst to best. There is no ranking. There are successful
companies with all of these kinds of cultures. There are unsuccessful
companies with all these kinds of cultures. And it really depends
on all of those factors that I mentioned before
as to whether or not the company is successful
with its particular culture. The first one is
a power culture, and this is what you see in
fashion, film, and start-ups. There’s a highly
charismatic leader, and that leader makes all of
the decisions, essentially all the decisions. If you think about The Devil
Wears Prada, or the September issue, if you’ve seen that,
which is about Anna Wintour, and you think about Steve Jobs
in the early days of Apple, or think about Jeff Bezos
in Amazon in the early days. Those charismatic leaders
basically ran the organization. I make every decision,
every important decision was made by them. And it didn’t really
matter what your title was. If you had a good idea and
you could get to Steve Jobs and convince him
that you were right, then that idea would
be put into play. You could jump three levels in
the organization with impunity. All you had to do was to be
able to convince this one person at the top. So there’s not a lot of
rules, and there’s not much bureaucracy. These charismatic
leaders, usually I’ve heard them described as seldom
wrong but never in doubt. And that certainly
defines Steve Jobs. So the good thing about
organizations like this is that decisions
can be made really, really quickly, because
there’s one person who’s making the decision. All you have to do is
convince that one person, and whatever it is you
want to do gets done. The problem with
these organizations is that decisions get made
really, really quickly, and that the caliber
of the decision-maker is really important. So people forget that Steve
Jobs made a lot of mistakes. And not taking anything away,
Apple is a fantastic company. But people forget that
for decades apple mice had one button on them,
because Steve Jobs said, you only need one
button on a mouse. There’s no need for two. We can do everything we
want with one button. And in fact, he was wrong. It is better to
have two buttons. And now even Apple mice
have two buttons on them. So people forget that
the decision leader, the quality of the decisions
that that person makes is very important. It’s also important that if you
join an organization like this, you had better believe
that this leader is God, and you are willing to
follow them anywhere, because if you begin to
question their authority, it’s not going to be a
very happy place for you. Are there any questions
about this so far? The next culture we’ll talk
about is called a role culture, very, very different. In a role culture–
these are usually very large organizations, very
large and very bureaucratic. And in fact, they’re
so large that you can’t have personal
relationships with all of the people you
need to interact with. And what that means is you
have to depend on their title and their role to make sure
that they have the authority to do whatever it is
you’re asking them to do. They’re highly structured, very
formal policies and procedures. So for example, I have
an invoice for $9,999. I know that if I
take this to a person with the title of
second assistant vice president for finance, that if
he signs it or she signs it, it will be approved, because I
know that second assistant vice presidents for finance
have signing authority up to $10,000. That’s what I mean by
saying that the interactions between the people are
defined by their titles and defined by their roles. So you’ll see this– auto
companies, big insurance companies,
organizations like that that are so large
that they really have to have policies
and procedures that define the way in
which people are going to interact with each other. You’ll certainly see this
in the regulated industries too, because what
they’re trying to do is to protect the
existing business. What they want to
do is make sure that the business operates. Even though it’s huge, 50,000,
100,000, 300,000 employees, everybody knows what their job
is, and what they have to do. So there’s employee manuals,
there’s employee training. The risk here is that innovation
is seen as a challenge to the organization,
because if you’re in one of these organizations,
you’re a smart PhD, and you raise your hand
and say, wait a minute, why do we have to get
three signatures on this? We could do it with two. Oh my God, two signatures! Only two! Well, what is this third
person going to do? How are we going to change
the employee manual? How are we going to change
what everybody needs to know? How do we communicate
this in the organization? What are the
implications going to be? Did legal sign off on that? Are we opening ourselves
up to liability? Any kind of change
in the organization is a challenge to
the organization. And a good example
of this is Sony, which used to be one of the
most innovative companies ever. I know you’re all too young
to remember the Walkman, but that was actually, you
could actually walk around with music in your hand. It was a revelation that you
could walk around and have all these songs and things. And what happened to them? They tried to protect
that business. They forgot you could
have a cassette tape. They didn’t realize that
solid-state memory was going to change everything,
that Apple tunes was going to change everything. And now Sony is a
company that’s really fighting for survival, because
of their lack of innovation. The next kind of culture
that Handy talked about was called a team culture,
or a task culture. And here power derives from your
actual individual abilities, your skills. A good example of this,
this is where there are so many different skills that are
required to produce the product or just deliver the service
that not one individual can have all of them. So you have to put
together a team of people with individual
particular skills. A good example I like to
use is building a website. To build a website these
days, you need a web designer. You need someone to
build the user interface. You need the graphics person. You need the web programmer. You need the
database specialist. You need a business specialist,
a server programmer, and somebody to
do the marketing. It’s very unlikely
that you’re going to find one single person
who has all those skills. So we bring these
people together, frequently on an ad hoc basis. They work together on a project,
and then they disassemble, and they go, and they
work on other projects. This is like the
consulting companies. This is Bain. This is McKinsey. It’s Pricewaterhouse. It defines some law firms. independence, innovation,
critical thinking are really, really essential
to organizations like this. And education,
employee education, they invest a huge amount of
money in employee education. Why do they do that? Well, when you go,
and when you join one of these
organizations, you’re going to be paid a fixed
salary plus a bonus probably. And you’re going
to be billed out to the client at the actual
number of hours that you work. So what the consulting
companies like to do is to pay you for a
nominal 40 hours a week, plus a bonus at the
end of the year, and bill you out
for 50 hours a week. And even if you’re
in the humanities, and you’re not
quantitative, you can figure out that it’s a
lot better to bill someone out at 50 hours a week and
pay them at 40 hours a week. The other thing that they
can do is every skill, every time you
increase your skills, they can raise your
billing rate to the client. So the more you can do,
the more valuable you are to the organization,
and the more they can charge for your talent. So it pays them to
invest in your education. These are great places to work. Pricewaterhouse is one. We had continuing
education requirements. It was at least
two weeks a year, and probably it’s up
to four weeks a year now, of mandatory
employee education. Plus, in addition
to that, you had to do a lot of
things on your own. In order to stay with
the organization, you need to increase
your skills year by year. So it’s a great place
to go if you actually want to be educated on
somebody else’s dollar. These are very challenging
places to work, however, because the management
understands the economics, and they want you to
work very, very hard, so that they can bill
all those extra hours. Also, the quality of
project management is going to be very,
very important. That is, how well the
people who are managing your project actually
do their job, so that you can both
get the job accomplished and also have a life
is very important. So they tend to
spend a lot of time on building good project
managers, or at least the good places do. The next one is
a person culture. The person culture you might
think of as a set of fiefdoms. Think about smaller
law firms, or even some of the larger
law firms, where there is one person at the top
who is responsible for bringing in– there are several people. They’re basically fiefdoms,
or small pyramids– one person who is responsible for
bringing in all of the work. And they command usually a set
of unshared resources, that is, people who aren’t working
across different projects, but people that they own
that they can put together on a project. But the person who
brings in the business is the one who
holds all the power. And that person at
the top of the pyramid may not be the most
technically adept person on the project team. And we certainly saw
this at Pricewaterhouse. There would be partners who
really excelled at selling, and at building
relationships with clients. But you wouldn’t want
them to do an audit, or you wouldn’t want them to
work on tax or on consulting, because they, frankly,
were better at schmoozing than they were at actually
doing the real work. It was the people under
them who did the work. But because they could
bring in the money, because they could build
these client relationships, they ran the show. Now, do you see the difference
between this and a power culture? In a power culture,
there’s really one pyramid. There’s one person at the top. In a person culture,
you know, it’s like a VC firm, also,
a Venture Capital firm, or law firms where there’s a
set of different practices. Does that make sense? Do you understand
the differences? And so those were the four
that Handy had identified. And he had mentioned
the academic culture, but it wasn’t a big deal,
certainly in the ’70s, and it is a really big deal now. An academic culture
is a place where power comes from your
ability to argue, and your credentials,
and your results, and probably in
that order, meaning if you’re able to
argue, your results don’t have to be that strong. They are frequently oriented
towards technologies. These are small biotech
firms, start-up biotech firms. And the reason– they look
a lot like academic labs, they look a lot like academic
groups for good reason. Because when you
your PI decides, hey, you know what, we’ve
invented this– we have this really
interesting technology here, I think I’ll go start a company. Your PI only knows
academic environment. So what they try
and do is translate the academic environment
to a business environment. And this can be
really appropriate. It can be certainly appropriate
if there’s a technology hurdle to overcome, you know, if
there’s some kind of science that has to be invented. And I don’t just mean
to pick out biologists. I mean physicists do
this all the time, too. Just anybody who’s
inventing, trying to move a technology from
academia to the business environment, is very likely
to set up something that looks like an academic culture. So there’s a couple
of challenges here. First of all, this is
a good place to work. If you’re an academic,
the transition from academia to an academic
culture is really smooth. You’ll recognize a lot of the
culture, and a lot of the way in which people interact
with each other. And it’ll be a very
comfortable place for you. The challenge is that–
there’s a couple of challenges. One is that the PI may
think that because they’re a good technologist,
or a good scientist, or a good physicist that
they’re are also a good business person. And that’s usually– there
may be an inverse correlation. At best there’s no correlation. At worst there’s an
inverse correlation. Where there’s a–
one of the problems is that the academics understand
the grant system really well, in which somebody
gives you money, and you spend that
money, and you hope to get some results out of it. And if you do, that’s good. And if you don’t, well, you have
to wave your hands a little bit and say, well, this is what
we’re going to try next time. Investors are not like that. When investors give you money,
they want something back. And they really don’t like when
you start waving your hands and saying, well,
that didn’t work, so we’re going to
need more money. So that’s a big
difference between the academic environment and
the corporate environment. The other thing is that, unless
there’s a real business focus, academics tend to get
caught up in the technology, and get caught up in the
science, and the really, really fun and interesting science. So we just made
his breakthrough. Well, is that going to get
us closer to a product? No, no, no, no. It’s not going to get us. The product is– we’re still
thinking about the product. But look at this really
cool result we got here. And unless there’s somebody who
is laser focused on actually getting a product to market,
these academic environments can churn through an
awful lot of money. If there is a business
focus, I can guarantee you, if you’re a PhD in a
science, and social sciences, and humanities, if
you love research, if there’s a business focus,
these are the greatest places on Earth to work, because
you’ll be very comfortable. If you’re in a company with
really, really great technology and no customers, you’re
in an academic environment. I guarantee it. So now that ends our
taxonomy of the cultures. And so I want to
ask you– you may want to know, what are the
cultures like at the companies that you start interviewing at? If you go in there, and you say
at the end of the interview, this has been a great interview. I’m very interested
in the company. Which of Handy’s
these four categories do you fit in, supplemented by
Doug Kalish’s fifth category? They’ll look at you
like you’re nuts. They won’t know what
you’re talking about. So you’ve got kind of
figure out the culture from doing online searches. Use Quora. Use LinkedIn if you know
people at the company. It’s great if you know somebody
who is already working there. And the kinds of questions
you can ask are these, and also there’s a bunch
more on the website. And some things you can’t ask. Some things you can. It’s OK to say, in your
opinion, Madame interviewer, is corporate leadership
really unified around the theme of the
company, around the strategy of the company? Does everybody march
to the same– is there consistency in the vision here? Or you can say,
explain to me how the company is investing
in its employees, in training and
promotion programs. I’d like to hear a little
bit more about that. For these other things, for
some of the other questions, you’ll have to do
online research. And the more people
that you know, the more information that you can get. So I know what
you’re saying now. You’re saying, Doug, this
has been really eye opening. I never thought about
the culture before. This is an aspect
of my job search that I didn’t really consider. And there’s all of these things. But I’m a little confused now. How am I going to know what’s
the right organization that’s one that’s consistent for me? And the answer is,
there’s an app for that. It’s not really an app. It’s the self-assessment. How many people were able to
go through the self-assessment? Yeah, huge. I noticed. I was watching the
spike on my website. And I can tell
you– so I’ve done this more than two dozen times
with different universities. And far and away I got the
best response from Wisconsin, from you graduate
students and postdocs, than any other university. So we have some really
interesting results to talk about in a second. But I’m really glad to see. If you didn’t go
through it, don’t fret. You can still go through
this thing afterwards. And just try not to
game the results. Be as honest with the
answers as you can. So anyway, what I did
was– this assessment was actually invented by a
woman named Tamara Erickson, who does a lot of– she’s a pundit,
a millennial pundit, if that makes any sense. And I looked at this assessment
that she had put together, and I disagreed with
some aspects of it. But on the whole I liked it. She had really silly
names for the categories of personalities,
so I changed those. But I realized that
what we could do is marry the personality types
that she identified to Handy’s business culture types. And so that’s what I put
together on my website. And we’re going to go
through these things again. There’s six of them. They are not in order from
best to worst or worse to best. There are people who are
really successful with all of these personality
types, and there are people, unfortunately,
who are unsuccessful in all of these personality types. The first one is
individual contributor. Individual contributors want to
be acknowledged as the expert. They love being looked at as
the smartest person in the room, or the person who can
solve the problem. Very, very self
motivated, but they love external– they love
adulation and external rewards. They don’t want a
lot of interference. Tell me what that’s the
problem is, and then give me the resources to solve the job. But I have to feel competent. When I go into
this thing, I want to feel totally competent in my
ability to solve the problem. And they want to make an impact. And that impact
might be on society, or it might be making
a lot of money. But they want some impact. Vacation, benefits, mah. You know, that’s OK. But what I’m really working
for is I want the recognition. So people like this,
well, obviously this defines most of your academic
advisers, most of your PIs. So academia is actually
a really good place for people like this. But also power cultures, and
person cultures, and obviously academic kinds of cultures. Motivated apprentices
are quite different. A motivated apprentice is
looking for a stable path, a career ladder. The motivated
apprentice says, you know what, I’m smart
person, but there’s a lot I need to learn
in this organization. And there’s a lot that
this organization– I’m willing to put in the
hours to move up the ladder, but you tell me
what it is I need to do to go from my present
position to the next position. I want to know. And I want to make sure I
understand what my place is in this organization,
and I want to make sure that I’m being compensated
fairly for the work that I’m doing. They’re looking for the
traditional rewards, the rewards that they
can actually cash, that is benefits, pay, vacation,
health care, retirement, all those things
that are guaranteed. That un-guaranteed
stuff, bonuses? When you pay, when I see
the check, I’ll be happy. But I’m not working for
the bonus, because frankly, if you’re not guaranteeing
it, it’s not real until I actually get it. Very, very skeptical,
and it’s very hard to motivate these people with
the promise of a big pay out, with the possibility of a
big pay out in the future. And they’re very, very
nervous about their place in the organization,
rightly so, right? If you’ve got
certain skills, you want to be fairly
compensated for them. And what they really
hate, why is– she’s got exactly the same
skills that I do, but she’s making
$5,000 a year more, and she’s a first assistant,
and I’m a second assistant. This isn’t right. And people with this
kind of personality are very, very
nervous if they’re not comfortable with their
place in the organization. Team players. So team players, the important
thing for a team player is working with a bunch of
people they really like. And in fact, they
like these people so much that they don’t
just like working with them, they go out on
Thursday night bowling. They got to go out on
Friday night happy hour. They see them on weekends. There’s company outings. The best thing about
work is that I’m working with a bunch of people
I really, really admire, and I can trust and enjoy. And work is not– work
is important to me, but what’s really important
is that we all get along, and we’re all doing
this together. They like stability
and structure, but they do also
believe that, will, we’ll pull people into the
team if we need to in order to accomplish whatever
the objective is. Conflict within the team
makes these people very, very nervous. They don’t like it when two
team members are butting heads, because the team is everything. If the team can’t get along,
if the team is dysfunctional, we’re not going to be
able to do our job. And so inter-team
conflict is something that has to be addressed
really, really quickly. So I want to be careful
about one thing, because a lot of
organizations will say, we’re really a team
oriented place. And particularly, I see
this in Silicon Valley. A software start-up,
or a games company, we’re really team oriented. Look, we have all these people. We’re all working
on the same project. We’ve got game designers,
and marketing people, and the software developers,
and the database people. And you walk through
them, and what you see? You see cubicle, after
cubicle, after cubicle, and people working in front of
their displays, usually five or six displays per person. And it’s not really
a team environment. I mean they’re all
working on the same thing. But it’s very isolated. Or they’re working–
we have people at home. We have people working in India. We have people working
in Eastern Europe. You’ve got to be careful
when someone says, it’s a team environment,
to push back a little bit, and say, well, what
do you mean by that? How often does the team
actually get together, and do people go out
together after work? So obviously a task
culture is going to be great for
people like this, because that’s the
definition of a task culture. It’s a team of people with
different skills working on the same project. So who runs marathons here? People run? OK good. What about like triple
black diamond skiing? OK, good. I have a friend who
does 100-mile runs. If there’s anything crazier. I hope nobody– does
anybody do 100-mile runs? It’s really, I
mean, it’s grueling. Challenge seekers. People who look for physical
challenges in their lives frequently look for these
kinds of challenges at work, not just exciting, but actually
anxiety-provoking situations, where they’re not entirely sure. Unlike the individual
contributors, they’re not entirely
sure when they take on the task– I’m sorry. They know that they may not have
the skills to take on the task, but they are entirely
sure of their ability to rise to the
occasion, to learn whatever skills they
need to get in order to accomplish the task. It’s really interesting. I mean, so the individual
contributor usually has a lot of confidence
in their current skill set in order to accomplish whatever
is put in front of them. The challenge seeker says, I
know I don’t have those skills, but that doesn’t matter. Whatever I need
to learn, I will. They want problems
that are challenging. They want to learn. They want to gain new skills. And I can tell you, I mean, I
don’t think this is boasting. This used to be my
personality type. Absolutely. My friends used to say,
Doug has never taken a job that he’s qualified for. And that was absolutely right. When this entrepreneur
came to me in the ’90s, I was running basically a
software R&D organization for Pricewaterhouse. And he came and said, I want you
to be chief knowledge officer. I didn’t know what that was. It sounded like a great title. I mean, I just said, sure. And then I had to figure it out. And basically I could invent
what a chief– I mean, there were certain things
he wanted accomplished. But I basically just said, well,
whatever it is, it sounds good. And I’m sure I can
come up with something. And that happened to me
several times in my career. And we’ll talk about in
a minute, you can change, and you probably will change. So two things about
challenge seekers. One is, you need to
be careful working with and for a challenge seeker,
because if the challenge isn’t there, they’ll invent one. Yes, we did that
project in three months with a budget of $200,000. I’ll tell you what,
I think we can do it in two months for 150,000. Let’s make this a challenge. Let’s see how much harder
we can make it for us. Let’s see how much
better we can do. So you need to be
careful, because when you’re on a project
team, and you’re not one of these kinds of
people, you’re going to say, are you out in your mind? How are we possibly
going to do that? And fortunately, if they’re
a good challenge seeker, they’ll rise to the task. I have found, in talking
to student groups like this, somebody raised
their hand once, and said, you know what, Doug? I run marathons. I do 100-mile runs. I do this all the time,
but I didn’t score highly as a challenge seeker. And we had a little
bit of a conversation. And it turns out,
for sure there are a set of people who
look for challenges, these kinds of physical
challenges outside work. But they’re looking
for stability. On Monday morning, they
want to get to the job, and they actually
don’t want challenges. They need that kind of
stability in their life. So it’s very possible that you
could have a challenge seeker personality, but look for more
stability in your work life. Any questions about that? Looking for balance
makes a lot of sense. Work is important to me, but
it’s only one of many things that I’m doing in my life. I may have child care, or
elder care responsibilities, family responsibilities,
or I want to do some personal
development, or some athletics, and work has to basically
fit in with that. There are either
external responsibilities that you want to attend to, or
there are personal development things that you would
like to attend to. And for somebody like
this, flexibility is really important. Usually a role culture is going
to be the most appropriate, because it’s the
kind of a place where you know what your
responsibilities are going to be. You’ve got some
flexibility at work. Stability is important to you. Promotion, not so much. What’s really important
to you is basically knowing that, if you need
to miss a day of work, that that’s not going
to be a catastrophe. You can’t be working necessarily
in a place where people are depending on your
particular skill set, because if you’re not there,
the job isn’t going to get done. So it’s usually where
you are somebody who can– where other people can
pick up the slack if you’re not able to do it. And again, one of the
interesting things we found in the discussion is,
I had someone raise their hand, and she actually was running a
career counseling organization at a university. And she said, well,
you know what? I scored very highly
on looking for balance. But I run this organization. But I have so much confidence
in the rest of my team, and they understand
that sometimes I’m just not going to be there for them. And they’re going to
have to make decisions. They’re going to have to
keep the ball rolling. So in some situations, with
the concurrence of the team, you can be the boss. You can be the leader of a team,
as long as the rest of the team is willing to pick up the slack
if you’re not able to be there. I thought that was
sort of interesting. And lastly, there’s
minimally committed. Minimally committed means,
well, work is a pain, but I have to work
because I need the money. And I just want to do
the least amount of work that I can do for the most
amount of money that I can get. And I will switch jobs in a
second if I can make another $0.50 an hour more, and not
have to do any more work, I’m going to take that job. Fortunately– and
obviously, a role culture is the only place people like
this, where the job is really, really well defined. The boss is not going to be
banging on you to do more and more than your commitment. And fortunately, I don’t think
many of you scored very highly on minimally committed. So are you interested in
how other people scored? I have actually–
over 13,000 people have gone through
this assessment. And a couple of months
ago, I started adding some demographic questions. So I’ve got some
interesting stuff about how people
are scoring, and how their scores change over time. Not over time, but
with education. This is not a
longitudinal study. This is a snapshot study. So in high school, it’s
really interesting. And this is probably
not too surprising. The majority of kids
in high school picking motivated apprentice. I want a role. I want to know what it is I
have to do in the organization. But we see the hints of
individual contributors and some team players. And look at this,
minimally committed. It turns out– I won’t show the results here. But it turns out,
those are all boys. Those are all males. I am not going to
say anything more about the implications there. So those are the blue bars. Now the magenta bars. These are college students
from freshman to seniors. And what we’re seeing
is a big increase in the number of
individual contributors here, with a decrease
in the motivated apprentice, and an increase,
also, in team players. And fortunately, a big decrease
in minimally committed. So as you would expect, as you
look at a college population, people are skewed more towards
the individual and the team player, rather than a
role-based organization. And now postbacs, meaning
postbaccalaureate. Really interesting. Look at that. Those are the yellows. A big spike in
individual contributor, which, again, is consistent
with an academic culture. It’s also consistent with
an entrepreneurial culture. And a big increase in team
players, which is a little bit curious. And actually, when I gave this
talk a year ago at Berkeley, one of our cohorts from
Irvine raised her hand, and she said, wait
a minute, Doug. This is a little bit mysterious. I mean here you’ve got all
of these graduate students and postdocs. At the time, they were mostly
life sciences and stem people. They’re all doing
individual lab work. Why are they scoring so highly
on a preference of team player? And again, we had a discussion. We decided that this
was aspirational, that people doing bench work,
and PhD research, whether it’s in the sciences, or social
sciences, or humanities, they’re craving
personal interaction. Their best friend is
the ultracentrifuge. Oh, Beckman, it’s
going to see you again. It’s like Tom Hanks
and the soccer ball. And so that’s sort
of our hypothesis, that this is sort
of an aspiration. The interesting
thing is, I began to do a little
bit more analysis, and I looked at male
versus female postbacs. Now the key has changed here. The blue is males, and
the magenta is females. Look at the male individual
contributors as opposed to females. Female postbacs are
not looking necessarily at an academic, a PI
academic kind of career, nearly as strongly. I mean this is a
significant result, a statistically significant
difference between males and females. Whereas the females–
but they are high. Females are high in the
individual contributors as postbacs. Not to take anything away. It’s just that the males
are scoring way, way higher. But females are scoring
statistically significantly higher as team players,
and looking for that team interaction, and also,
I think, obviously on looking for balance. So I’m beginning to see
some really interesting demographic differences
with education and also between the sexes. As I get more and more–
this represents almost 1,000 a postbacs– and I’m
also getting information, as you guys know if
you’ve gone through this, on the disciplines
and the domains. So I want to look at
this as differences between disciplines. Interestingly enough, when I saw
this crazy thing with the males scoring so high on
individual contributors, I began looking at the data,
and said, oh, you know what? I’m lumping in like MBA. There are a lot of people
who are showing business as their major. I said, I wonder if these
are all MBA candidates. These are CEO wannabes who
are just skewing the results. And so I took them all out,
and the number actually even got higher. So I want to look at
the life sciences, see where this is
all occurring from. But it’s kind of
interesting results. At least I think
it’s interesting. Yes? I noticed that a person can
have [INAUDIBLE] categories. Are these, for each individual,
their [INAUDIBLE] categories? Yeah, good question. [INAUDIBLE] What field are you in? What field? Chemistry. Chemistry? OK. I thought you might
be a social scientist, because that was a great–
that’s a great question. And the question is, what
do these scores actually represent? These represent the mode of that
particular personality type. So for each person,
I go through, and yes, people
are going to– it’s very rare, a person
who scores 100%, or all 10 questions in
one particular category. So what I’m using
as the metric here is basically the mode, the
category that each individual scored in most often. And that’s a really
good question. And it leads us into
this next slide, which are two important points. One is that
organizations may not be homogeneous in the kinds
of cultures that they have. The R&D portion
of an organization may be much more cooperative
and team-oriented than the sales
department, which is going to be very
competitive, have a very competitive culture. But also, your work goals,
and your personality may change over time. So it’s very– we certainly do
see people who score really, really highly, 8
out of 10, they’re individual contributors, or
7 out of 10 team players. We also see people
who are very balanced. And as long as you
didn’t score too highly on minimally
committed, then I think there’s nothing to worry
about in any of these scores. And I would certainly
not encourage you to say, I’m not going
to go for that interview at the insurance company,
because I don’t want to work in a large
role-based organization, because I scored so
highly as a team player. Instead, just be aware
that there are these kinds of cultural differences. Good question. Any others? So I want to spend the
last half hour, here, talking more personally
and practically about what you can do in order to get
a job in a non-academic career. I know everybody
wants to do research. That’s why we went
to graduate school. We love research. But you know what? There’s only so
many research jobs. And with the skills that
you’ve got as a PhD, there a lot of other really,
really interesting things that you can do. I’ve listed a couple
of them up here. There’s just– you have
to– there are a lot more non research kinds of
opportunities out there than there are
research opportunities. And I’ve asked you
to open your minds as early as possible to
the idea that maybe you’re not going to be doing research
as defined in your current role when you get a job. The kinds of companies
that you can go to also. If you’re a biologist
or a biochemist, it’s not just
biotech and pharma. There are consulting
companies that consult to these organizations. There’s patent law. There is relationships
with the FDA. There’s all kinds
of opportunities for someone with a science–
and I’m talking about biology in particular here. But you could also expand this
to all the other disciplines. There are things that you
can do with the orientation, and the training, and
the skills of a PhD in a lot of different
places in the organization for a lot of different
kinds of organizations. So how can you explore careers? Well, now don’t freak out and
try and copy all this stuff down. All you have to do
is copy down the URL at the top, which will
lead you to a web page that has all this information. Pricewaterhouse actually has
a fairly good career advisory planner. It’s one of these things
that takes your skills, and your interests,
and your values, and it maps them to the kinds of
jobs that you might be good at. There are a variety of
these things out there. The Pricewaterhouse one
is one that’s available and one that’s free. One of the greatest
resources for you is go and find the
professional society that represents your discipline. So take American
as the first word, and then supply chemical,
physical, sociological, whatever word you want, and
then supply either association or society. And if you do a
Google search on that, you’re going to come up
with a professional society. These guys are really oriented
towards helping people in their disciplines get a job. They all have really good career
search, and career management, and career advice opportunities. The earlier you look
at these things, the better off
you’re going to be. For you humanities and
social science PhDs, Columbia has a great
resource, which, again, lists, like I did in that
previous slide, foundations, and government, and non-profits,
and all the different things that you can do with
a social science PhD, and the kinds
of different jobs, and grant funding, and grant
review, and grant writing, things like that. For STEM PhDs, the AAAS science
careers site is fantastic. It really has a
wealth of things. All of this is
basically to help you. I’ve got to mention, though,
the professional organization websites. This crazy URL,
California career cafe, CAcareercafe, they
have a list of every professional
organization out there, and a link to their websites. And whenever I go to this
site, I lose an hour, or I lose two hours. Because you would not believe
the crazy professional organizations. I mean, bringing
together interests that you would never think. I’ve had to write
a couple of them down because they
were so much fun. So one of them was The American
Academy of Healthcare Interior Designers. So you’re not just
an interior designer, but you’re designing hospital
rooms, or triage rooms, or whatever. How about The Fashion
Accessories Shippers Organization? So these are the people
who, I don’t know, they build shipping containers,
shipping for pocketbooks. And my favorite is The Society
of Professional Rope Access Technicians Rope access
technicians are the people who dangle from buildings on ropes,
and either clean the windows, or replace the windows,
or do maintenance, or they work on
the Grand Canyon. They clean the Grand Canyon. I don’t know. And the only reason
I mention this is that if you have two or
three weird things that you’re interested in, go to this site. Type in those interests. I’ll bet you’ll find a magazine
and a professional association. So it’s really a lot of fun just
to explore the kinds of careers that are actually out there. There are so many careers. This is the thing that
is the hardest, I think, for PhDs, or really for anyone
to get their mind around. And that is, what
am I going to do? How do I pick a career? And the answer is,
don’t pick a career. Pick what you’re
going to do next. Don’t get all excited about
you have to– you’re going to change careers five to seven
to eight times over you’re working life. Find something that
you’re interested in now, and pursue that. And use some of these
resources to help in narrowing down those things. So when should you
start looking for a job? And the answer is, I don’t
care who you are, today. That doesn’t mean to go out and
start scheduling interviews. What that means is that the
earlier you start your career planning, the better
off you’re going to be. So I want to talk about
some of the things that are required for you
specifically as PhDs looking for non-academic jobs. And the first thing is that
you need the right skills, obviously. Let’s look at what
some of the skills are. And I won’t tell you where I
got these job descriptions, but maybe you can guess. So a PhD in immunology,
antibody engineering, molecular evolution
technologies, next generation
sequencing, development of bispecific and
monospecific antibodies. Now it’s really funny. As I go through this, always
at the end of my workshop, somebody comes up
and says, you know that slide you showed
about the biotech job? I actually have all those. Can I apply for that job? I just want to point
out one of the things here, because we’re going to
come back to it in a second. Strong track record
in generating therapeutic candidates. Just keep that in
mind for a second. In quantitative analysis,
machine learning, large time series data sets,
large sets of noisy data, forecast optimization,
machine learning experience. and I want you to think
about this for a second. Experience in futures, fixed
income, or foreign exchange markets. Very, very specific job. And even in
management consulting, and I’ve added
the emphasis here, providing evidence of key
skills and attributes, ability to work on a team, problem
solving and analytical skills, cope with pressure, commercial
awareness, and understanding of business environment. So what are we seeing here? Understanding
business environments, experience in financial markets,
and experience generating therapeutic technologies,
the therapeutic candidates. What’s common in
all of those things? What’s common in all of
those is that you’re not going to get any of that as
part of your graduate education. Those are all saying
we are looking for people with some kind
of business experience. And the bad news is
that you are really unlikely to find
a job that’s going to be continuing your thesis
or your postdoc project. This is very hard for
many graduate students. This is the biggest hurdle that
you have to overcome initially. You love your research project. Hopefully you love
your research project. There are very
few people who are going to pay you for
that deep expertise that you have in that
particular domain. I know, it’s sad. And many of these mice
have given up their lives for your thesis. But academia rewards
the narrow and the deep. Business rewards the
flexible and the wide. And you are going to have
to be able to show that you are able to acquire and
you’re able to utilize these new skills. And the other bad news is that
that CV that you’re generating, and that you’re so proud of now,
because it’s four pages long, and you hope that it
gets to be 10 pages long, you’re not going
to be able to use that to get a non-academic job. Nobody wants to read that. One page. Two pages at most is what
you’re going to be documenting. And what does that mean? That means that
you have to write a resume for every single
job that you apply for. You have to pull out
the relevant portions of your experience and
put them on a resume. I’ve been to a
couple of workshops where there have been
recruiters, actual people who hire folks just like you. And to a person,
to a man and woman, they claim that they spend
between 5 and 15 seconds per resume. They put out a job posting. Resumes come in. They get 100. Five seconds, maybe 10
seconds, they look at it, and they go onto the next one. This one looks interesting. I think I’ll read
the cover letter. That is the realities
from the recruiters. So believe it. That means you’ve got to
spend time on that resume. You can’t just write
one resume and expect that that’s going to
work for everything. So how are you going
to find these skills that industry wants? Well, LinkedIn and alumni. This is one of the
reasons why you need to begin
thinking really early on about the kinds
of places you’d like to work, the
kinds of industries that you want to work. Use LinkedIn in order to
find people that either you know or are alumni from your
undergraduate university, or alumni from your
current department, which would be great. And go to my website. Find out how to do an
informational interview. I’ve got all the questions
you can ask there, so you don’t have to go in
trying to think about how to carry on the conversation. But you’ve got to do these
informational interviews in order to find out. And it’s OK to them
to say, you know what, I’m really
interested in the job, but tell me a little bit
more about what you’re doing on a day-to-day basis? How did you get this job? What was it that made you so
attractive to the organization? Here’s my resume. I’m not asking for
a job, but if you were looking to hire, how would
you feel about a resume that had these kinds of skills? And what other things do you
think I should do in the years that I have remaining
as a graduate student or as a postdoc
in order to become more attractive to
organizations like your own? If you can add skills
and technologies, particularly
statistics, which is something everybody wants
these days, to your project, legitimately do it. Find something in
your project where you have to run a chi-square
or an analysis of variance, just get it on there. Begin to understand more
and more about statistics. I gave a talk to the
faculty earlier today. We had, actually, a
really good turnout. And I said, you’ve got to allow
your students to take business classes as an elective. Let them take marketing. Let them take finance. All of their classes do not have
to be within the department, the domain. And I think a lot of the faculty
are beginning to understand how important this is. And then all these
non-technical skills. We used to call
them soft skills. They’re not soft. They’re just as important
as all the technical skills that you’ve got. And the more that you can
do, the better off you’re going to be. The second thing you need to
get is a professional presence. In the domains where–
in every domain, publications are important. If presentations and
posters are something that is common in your
discipline, do as many of those as you can. This is no different
from getting and looking for an academic job. If patents are something that
makes sense in your domain, all of these things look really,
really good to the employers. And I know that you’ll be
attending and hopefully presenting at
academic conferences. But look at those
non-academic conferences, too. Bio.org is a trade conference. It’s an industry conference. You go there to meet people
who are in the industry. The Social Innovation Summit
for social scientists. These are places where
there are companies that actually hire PhDs,
people with PhD experience. You need to go to the
non-academic conferences and meet people. I can’t tell you how
important a web presence is. Everybody, I’m not going to ask,
but if you’re not on LinkedIn, the first thing you
do when you leave here after you have pizza, is
you go back to your dorm, and you go back
to your apartment, and please set up a
LinkedIn presence. Every single organization
looks at LinkedIn now. The better the web
presence you have, get on your department website,
if your department has one. If your department doesn’t have
a website, set up your own. Set up a blog. You don’t have to blog
about your research. You can blog about something
else in the industry. Don’t blog about your cat. But get a presence,
because what recruiters are doing these days,
is they don’t just do passive recruiting. They don’t just put
up a job application and wait and see who responds. They go to the net. They go to the web, and
they do Google searches. And they say, I’m
looking for people with this kind of experience. And if they find it, and you’ve
got two or three of the skills that they’re looking
for, they’ll call you. Would you like a recruiter
to call you and ask you to apply for a job? Yes, you would. Nothing could be better than
to have the recruiter say, gee, I was looking
online, and you had posted some interesting stuff. You have an analysis
of the industry. Would you consider
applying for this job? And your answer is going
to be, even if you’re four years away from
getting your degree, that’s really interesting. I’d like to hear
more about the job. Tell me what skills
you’re looking for. I’m not ready right now,
but maybe in two years. Let’s keep a dialogue going. There’s nothing better than
having somebody ask you if you want to apply for a job. But they won’t do it
if they can’t find you. What you need also are
the right contacts. So I was a scientist, too. I loved working at the bench. I’ve seen social scientists. I know the humanists. We’re introverted people. We don’t actually like to go
out and talk to someone else. It’s hard. It’s stressful to engage with
people who you don’t know. And it’s so much easier to
sit in front of the computer and to submit that job
application online. And you just make sure
it’s formatted correctly, spell check it three times,
and someone’s going to click, and you send it
off, and you say, well, I applied for
four jobs today. Let’s go out and have a beer. That’s not how you’re
going to get a job. It just doesn’t
happen these days. And the Bureau of
Labor Statistics is saying 70% of jobs are
coming from referrals. I think the number
is much, much higher. You’ve got to go out there. You’ve got to make contacts. You’ve got to have–
alumni are great. Alumni organizations are great. If your PI has
industry contacts, or your adviser has industry
contacts, capitalize on those. But you really– I want you
to make this promise to me. So 70%. For every three hours you spend
online applying for jobs– because I know you’re
going to do it, whether I tell you not
too– for every three hours you spend online, spend
seven hours networking. Just promise yourself
you’re going to do that. That will pay off,
and that’s how you’re going to get your job. Which is better, the resume
at the bottom of a pile, or somebody in the organization
who says, I know her? She’s really good. And we have this job opening. Why don’t you call her. A strong recommendation, maybe. It depends on where you go. If you go to a
consulting company. If you go to McKinsey
or even Pricewaterhouse, they don’t care
what your PI says. I hope there’s no PIs in here. They don’t care what
your adviser thinks. They say they believe
that your PI actually has no conception of what a
good consulting candidate looks like. They will put you through a very
rigorous recruitment process. They’ll bring you
in for interviews. You’ll do case studies. They will make
their own decision. They don’t care what
your adviser thinks. In other organizations,
they will, and they will want
a recommendation. The only reason
I mention this is that, if you’re having
problems with your advisor, the time to deal with those
problems is right now. Do not wait for your
final year as a postdoc, or your final year as
a graduate student, and you haven’t talked to
your adviser in 18 months. You’ve got to solve
those problems today. And there are always resources
within the university to help you solve those. Lastly and this is
the most important, and that is evidence
that you can make the cultural
transition to industry. So the consulting
companies, they believe that actually PhDs
are really worth hiring, and they’re really
worth going out after, and they understand what PhDs
bring to the organization. There are a lot of
organizations yet who say PhDs? Ivory tower, impractical,
argumentative, intransigent, we don’t really
want to have to deal with them. You’ve got to find ways
to overcome the prejudice, and the best way to do that is
to say, I did an internship. I did a fellowship. I’ve actually worked
outside of academia, and I know what to expect
in the organization. On campus groups and
clubs, leadership skills, anything that you
can show that you have gone beyond the
academic research is going to really
put you in good stead when you go out there and
try and do recruiting. This is the biggest
difference that there is between academic
and non-academic jobs. In academia, they’re
very, very happy to take your adviser’s
recommendation, to look at your CV,
to weigh your CV, and if it’s heavy
enough, then they’ll bring you in for an interview. What they want in
non-academic jobs is evidence that you can make
that cultural transition. So I know what you’re saying. We’re coming down
to the end, here. You’re saying, this is a
little bit scary, Doug. I mean, this has
been really good. You’ve given me some really
actionable items, some things I didn’t really think about. But it’s a good list of
stuff that I need to do. But how am I going to know if
I’m actually ready to go out there and start interviewing? And the answer is,
there’s an app for that. I have another assessment
on the site that says, are you ready to look for a job? And it goes through, and
it’ll you 15 simple questions. And if you don’t
have business cards, it’ll tell you need business
cards and how to get them. If you haven’t done any
informational interviews, or you’ve only
done two or three, it’ll give you links on how to
do informational interviews, give you the kinds of
questions you have to ask. If you haven’t looked at
the 50 toughest interview questions and their answers,
it’ll give you a link to that. So go through and
do this assessment. It’s actually also a
good thing, before you go to the career
counseling office, go through and take
the assessment, and bring that
into them, and say, see I’ve done all of these. I have nine out
of the 15 things. I need you to help
me craft my resume, or arrange for other
informational interviews, and things like that. The good news is that there
are good jobs out there, and you may even know some
people who’ve got them. You’re going to get a good job. It’s going to require
some work on your part. But there are some really
good jobs out there, and someone is getting them,
and it might as well be you. So one thing I would like
to do is just ask you, as we wind down here,
I have a feedback form at the URL that’s up there. It’s really important
to me to make sure that the workshops that
I run are relevant, and that they’re interesting,
and that they’re fun. As an added incentive,
every quarter or so, I’m going to go through,
and there’ll be a $25 Amazon gift certificate. And I will award
that to a person that I’ve selected randomly
from among the people who scored me the highest. So here are ways to stay in
touch with me if you’d like. I link with anybody on LinkedIn. I have– you can
like me on Facebook. You can please
visit the website. If you want to
really stay in touch, there’s a mailing list there. I don’t really spam people. It’s usually stuff of
particular interest, not just to graduate
students, I’ll admit. It’s to a wider population. But it may be things that
might help you get a job. So I wish you the best of
luck, and thank you very much. [APPLAUSE] Wherever it is. It’s blank. We have time for a
couple of questions. Yeah. You talked a little bit
about the transition and– can you hear me? Yeah. You talked a little bit
about the transition from academia to industry,
but as a PhD or a postdoc, can you talk a
little bit about what if you choose to
go into academia and then want to
go into industry, or choose to go into
industry and then maybe want to finish in academia. How common is that,
and how hard is that? Going into academia
and transferring– so the question is, what about
staying academia for a while and then transferring
to industry, or what about going into
industry and transferring back? It is a lot easier to make
the transition from academia into industry than to make the
transition back, unless you have some particular skill. You can do it. So first, let’s deal wit– it
is OK to do a postdoc if you can get an assistant professorship
or something like that, get an academic
position out there, and then you’ve decided that
academia is really not for you. You will not have
given anything up, I don’t believe, in your ability
to get a non-academic job. It might be a little
bit harder for you, simply because you’ve
been in academia so long. So I would want to spend
a fair amount of time before you make that transition
in proving to them, again, that you’re capable of making
the cultural shift in doing some of these kind of
leadership kinds of expertise. Going from non-academic
job back into academia, I think that in some
professions– so certainly in business school it
happens all the time. But outside of that, I think
it’s very, very difficult. I think there are a lot
of prejudices about people who have given up
a research career for any considerable
length of time coming back into the Academy. Interesting question. Good question. Any others? Yes. You put a lot of
emphasis networking. [INAUDIBLE] So the question is, I put a
lot of emphasis on networking. Yes, I do. That’s not a question. Yes, I put a lot of
emphasis on networking. I can’t emphasize it enough. If you’re in an academic bubble,
and you don’t know people, what can you do? Well, that’s one of the
things that LinkedIn is for. Connect with as many people on
LinkedIn as you possibly can. Alumni are a huge source
that’s frequently overlooked. Alumni associations. How many of you are members
of your Alumni Association? Yeah. Well, OK. A little more than
I actually thought. You have an undergraduate
Alumni Association, and now, you have the
University of Wisconsin. Most of these
alumni associations will let you join even
before you’re an alumnus. I mean, alumni are such
a huge opportunity. Look for people
in your department who have recently graduated. Look for them even if they
haven’t recently graduated. They are going to be
so willing to talk to you about their
particular experience, and how they got their job. Your departments, go to
you department chairman, or the department secretaries,
and say, you know what, do you have a list
of all the alumni who graduated here
recently, both undergraduate and graduate, who have gone
on to non-academic jobs? And if they say
no, say, why not? This is really important. This is going to help those of
us who are in graduate school and as postdocs now connect
out to those people. This is a really important
thing for them to do. The other thing is,
depending on your discipline, there are industry conferences. I mentioned trade shows
and industry conferences. And again, you can
go to the booth, where there are those poor
salesman who nobody ever talks to. And to tell you the truth,
they’re a little bit tired of graduate students
coming up and saying, well, what’s it like working there? But frequently
they’re bored enough at these conferences that they
really do want to talk to you. And they’ll say, hey. You can ask them
what kind of people get hired in the organization. What’s it like? You can talk to
them about sales. Try and engage them
about themselves first before you begin talking
about yourselves. But there are
opportunities for you, even if you’re in that
kind of an academic bubble. Does that help? Yeah, good. Sure. You mentioned on a
couple of the slides that you showed some
of the job postings from a couple of
different companies. And something that came up a
lot was experience and industry experience in this sector. As a grad student, I don’t
have any industry experience.– I don’t have a whole lot
of industry experience. I have a lot of
research experience. How sneaky should I be to
turn my academic experience into the experience they’re
looking for on my resume? Or [INAUDIBLE]? They certainly understand
that there’s a disconnect. But the more that you can
do to actually gain industry experience, the better
off you’re going to be. If you’re in a discipline where
internships are acceptable, and if you’re a scientist
working in a lab, or if you’re in social
sciences working within a group or
a department where you can do fellowships
or internships, absolutely gold,
absolutely gold. If you can’t, then they
will certainly– if you say, well, I was student
representative of my professional
society on campus, and we arranged for speakers–
I was part of the group that arranged for speakers to come,
and we held a conference, they’ll look at that
and say that’s good. That shows leadership. So you can get that kind
of leadership stuff. The hardest thing is
the industry experience. What I like to do, if you
can’t do an internship and get the industry experience,
start to follow the industry, and start your own blog, or
comment on some other industry blogs. Get your name out there in
connection with the industry that you’re interested in. Certainly recruiters understand
that, as a graduate student, coming right out of graduate
school, or even as a postdoc, you may not have had
all those opportunities. The consulting companies
know this for a fact. So you don’t have
to convince them. They’ll give you the
industry experience. Other organizations
will really look towards what have you
done to try and get that industry experience? Can we do one more? Before we do the
last question, I just want to– the Office of
Professional Development at the Graduate
School invites you all to a reception afterwards in
the courtyard of the humanities building. And once you go out the exits,
here, you’ll see the stairways, and there are directions to go
downstairs to the first floor and out to the courtyard,
and one more question– OK. For you. Thank you very much. Encourage you to think
about internship. So for many financial services,
like big financial services companies, they
have internships, and it could [INAUDIBLE]
research internship– so research markets. [INAUDIBLE] I’m wondering, when
you’re applying for such an internship, do you
need to submit [INAUDIBLE]? So her question is, in the
financial services markets, they frequently have internships
in economic research. And she’s asking whether you
would submit a resume or a CV. In a case like
that, you ask them, because what you want to
do– for an internship, they may accept a CV. They may want to see the
bulk of your experience. Or they may just
say, look, we want to see how well you can distill
your experience into a resume. It is always OK, in a
situation like that, to say, are you looking for a resume,
or are you looking for a CV? Always the HR
department in that case is going to be your friend. Really great questions. It’s been such a
pleasure to be here. I’m going to be giving another
talk tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM called What To
Expect in Biotech. [INAUDIBLE] 9:30. It’s at 9:30. Oh good. Extra half hour to sleep. So 9:30 tomorrow morning. And that is
particularly targeted. We won’t be doing much overlap
at all from today’s talk. But it’s particularly
targeted to the structure of the biotech and
pharma industries, and the difference
between big pharma and small biotech companies. Thank you very much. [APPLAUSE]


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